Sunday, September 24, 2023

NASS won’t review social media regulation bill: Akpabio

“I am not sure there is going to be a specific bill on social media regulation. However, there are emailing laws in various areas; social media is just one space.”

• September 19, 2023
Godswill Akpabio
Godswill Akpabio (Credit: Godswill Akpabio)

Senate President Godswill Akpabio says the 10th National Assembly will not review the social media regulation bill since there are laws already guiding the use of the media.

Mr Akpabio was represented by the Senate Committee Chairman on ICT, Shuiab Salisu, at the Parliamentarian Symposium of Africa Internet Governance Forum (AIGF), hosted by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Tuesday in Abuja.

The programme’s theme was “Transforming Africa’s Digital Landscape: Empowering Inclusion, Security, and Innovation”.

He said the theme reflected the deepest yearnings of all Africans for concerted efforts to keep in step with the rest of the world in the ICT race.

Mr Akpabio said, “I am not sure there is going to be a specific bill on social media regulation. However, there are emailing laws in various areas; social media is just one space.

“So, rather than having specific legislation on social media, I will rather say social media is just one platform. The same way people have used regular media platforms to commit libel.”

Speaking on the youthful age of the African population, he said, “Africa may have missed out in the first, second, and third Industrial Revolutions, but on the fourth is based on digital competence and knowledge system.”

Mr Akpabio said Africa was positioned to lead the digital revolution and called for awareness among citizens.

He promised to work with the House of Representatives on driving the agenda “that will ensure our country, Nigeria, begins the trajectory to greatness using technology as an enabler to regulate social future.”

Mr Akpabio said this reality had compelled the convocation to seek ways to develop, apply and arrive at shared norms, rules, decision-making procedures and other activities that would impact the evolvement and utilisation of the internet.

The Secretary General of AIGF, Samuel George, a member of the Ghanaian Parliament, who spoke on internet governance in Africa, said governments on the African continent were doing a fantastic job regarding digitalisation.

Mr George said people would like politicians to focus more on bricks and physical infrastructure than putting more resources into digital rights.

According to Mr George, instead of putting more resources into digital rights, which affect everything done online now, the focus is placed on bricks and physical infrastructure.


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